I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Astronomy Tuesday

(Okay, I know it's Wednesday, but I spent two days creating a quiz for my new students and got all mixed up. I honestly thought it was still Monday all day yesterday.)

After posting the radio wave image of the galaxy center last week, I thought this was an interesting followup. This featureless gray-white billiard ball is Venus, as photographed by the Messenger mission in 2007. This is very different from the golden brown images we usually see, but in fact this is what Venus would look like to humans who flew near the planet.

This article is an interesting explanation of why the colors we see in astronomical images aren't usually true color, human eye-perceiving, visual spectrum representations. Sometimes they've just enhanced the colors, like any amateur photographer with a copy of Photoshop does routinely (Is Neptune really blue? Yes, but not that blue) but sometimes it's because the most interesting look at a celestial object is in a spectrum like ultraviolet, or radio waves, that we can't see, so it has to be translated before we can look at it.

Image credit: NASA / JHUAPL / CIW / G. Ugarkovic

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